Mumbai: Seamer Sreesanth’s behaviour in the second one-day international against Australia at Kochi might have been regarded as ‘trivial’ by the on-field umpires. However, a repetition of Sreesanth’s flare-up is bound to make things difficult for captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The preamble in the Laws of cricket says: The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of the Game as well as within the Laws. In the event of a player failing to comply with instructions by an umpire, or criticising by word or action the decision of an umpire, or showing dissent, or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute, the umpire concerned shall in the first place report the matter to the other umpire and to the player’s captain, and instruct the latter to take action. The umpires may intervene at any time and it is the responsibility of the captain to take action where required.
The ICC’s Standard Playing conditions is specific (rules of conduct) saying that nothing in the Code of Conduct alters the onus on the captain to ensure that the spirit of the game is adhered to as stated and defined in the preamble to the Laws of Cricket.
It’s understood that Match Referee summoned the captains of both the sides and had a talk with them after the match at Kochi. Dhoni has been told to keep Sreesanath and even Harbhajan Singh under control.
The ICC’s guidelines say that the extent to which such behaviour is likely to give offence shall be taken into account when assessing the seriousness of the breach of the player’s code of conduct.